India and China today held their third flag meeting in Chushul in Ladakh to resolve the issue of incursion by Chinese troops 19 km inside in Daulat Beg Oldi but the stand-off between the two sides continues.
The meeting between Brigadier-level officers from the two sides began at 11 am and continued for more than three hours but failed to end the stand-off,sources said here.
The Chinese side remained firm on its demand that India should dismantle its infrastructure developed in Eastern Ladakh which includes some newly-constructed bunkers at key vantage points and roads constructed close to the Indian perception of the Line of Actual Control (LAC),they said.
In the meeting,India also made its stand clear that there should be an unconditional withdrawal of Chinese troops from the Indian territory as per the agreements signed between the two sides on earlier occasions,they said.
At the Unified Commanders’ Conference also,Defence Minister A K Antony took a tough stand on the issue saying that India was not to be blamed for the incursions as it was ‘not one of our creation’.
He emphasised that India would take every possible step to safeguard its interest in the area.
The sources also said that the Chinese troops are still maintaining their tents and troops.
The two earlier meetings on the issue between the two sides had failed to yield any outcome and the Chinese soldiers have even started to increase their presence in the area by erecting new tents and continue to get supplies by trucks from their unit 25 km from the face-off point.
China has been raising objections over the construction of bunkers and ALGs by the Indian side within its area along its perception of the LAC.
India has also deployed its troops from ITBP and Ladakh Scouts to keep an eye on the Chinese troops at the stand-off site and will increase its strength there if the Chinese do so.
It had raised objections over the activation of ALGs at Fukche and DBO area in the last four-five years by the IAF and has also registered its protest on the road construction activities of the Border Roads Organisation in that area.
The IAF operates its Antonv-32 transport aircraft in these air fields and had even practiced the landing of its latest C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft there.
Chinese troops had entered Indian territory on April 15 at the face-off site,70 km south of Burtse in Ladakh division.
Antony discusses incursion issue with top security brass
Defence Minister A K Antony today discussed ways of resolving the Chinese incursion issue with the top security brass of the country and emphasised that India will take every step to safeguard its interests there.
Addressing the Unified Commanders’ Conference,he said the current situation in Ladakh where Chinese Army troops have camped for over two weeks is “not one of our creation” and India wanted a peaceful solution for it.
In a separate meeting to review the security situation in the region,Antony was briefed on the options before the country to find a peaceful solution to the incursion issue,sources said here.
Chinese troops have come 19 km deep inside the Indian territory and have claimed the area as their own.
National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon,Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma,Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh,IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne and Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi were present in the meeting.
The meeting also discussed the military options before the Indian side to resolve the issue,they said.
At the conference,Antony said the “current situation in Eastern Ladakh as ‘not one of our creation’… India remains committed to a peaceful resolution of the situation,through dialogue within the framework of agreements for maintaining peace and tranquillity”.
He emphasised that India was “united in its commitment to take every possible step to safeguard our interests”.
He said India’s ties with “China are,at times,bedevilled by border issues,particularly along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The recent developments are no exception”.
He said India has taken various steps to safeguard its borders with China which includes development of border roads and Advanced Landing Grounds there.